Benjamin Walker and Tim Burton talk revamping history with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Forget Twilight – there’s some new vampires in town.

Visionary director Tim Burton has taken on a producer role to help reimagine America's 16th president as an axe-wielding action hero in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"

He explained at the film's world premiere in New York: “I think there's so many different types of vampire stories and vampire lore and it was interesting to look at different kinds of rules from different countries and different kind of makeup.

“You know we sort of made up our own kind of vampire mythology.”

Star Mary Elizabeth Winstead added: “Our vampires are horrifying.

"They're truly scary and when they come out, you know with the 3-D and everything, you're really scared for your life. You know it's not a sexy, loving vampire."

Benjamin Walker said playing honest Abe – a role based mostly on historical facts, minus his secret, lethal vampire hunter alter-ego obviously – was a dream come true.

He laughed: "It's the kind of job you imagine having when you're six-years-old, you're in your backyard with your friends and like 'I'm Abe Lincoln and you guys are vampires' and you throw pinecones at each other.”

The 3D adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's popular novel of the same name casts Anthony Mackie as Abraham's valet and right man, and Dominic Cooper as his vampire-slaying mentor.

Mackie admitted that it took a gruelling training process to master the required vampire-slaying skills: "I had a great trainer named Aaron Tony.

“He's a martial arts capuella expert and he would literally come to my house every day and we come to my backyard and he would throw me around for an hour. So once we got on set I was bumped and bruised and ready to go."

He added: "You know what? Ben hit me with the axe twice. He hit everybody else about three or four times so I felt lucky.”

"Well, he shouldn't been lipping off, I guess," replied Walker.

Cooper was particularly nervous about pulling off the action sequences: "I did so much training. I still never ever quite managed to look like I knew what I was doing.

“I remember seeing Timur's face when I first showed him my work. And he goes... [feigns mild disappointment]. No, it was good. It's a lot of work and you spend a lot of time putting together very elaborate fight sequences that you hope make you look cool.”

Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as Lincoln's wife Mary Todd and English actor Rufus Sewell leads the vampires as Abe's arch-nemesis Adam. Supermodel Erin Wasson makes her big screen debut as Vadoma, part of the terrifying vampire posse.

"I'm a mean girl! A very, very mean girl," said Wasson of her character. "It is fun. You can take a lot of other emotions out of it and simply be evil. It was a very physical role, which was fun for me."

Timur Bekmambetov directs the action-horror flick, which opens in the UK on June 20. 

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